Illustrated by: Susan Gaber
Published by: Atheneum Books for Young Readers an imprint of Simon &Schuster Children’s Publishing Division. 2005
Age: 3 – 8 years
Theme: patience, new baby, waiting, preparation
First Lines: Mama says an angel is coming, coming clear up the mountain, riding clear up Lonesome Creek, a tiny babe tucked in her saddlebag, a tiny babe tucked safe and warm.
Synopsis: Through the eyes of a young girl we are caught up in the preparing for a new baby in the 1920’s. A small Kentucky community rallies round waiting for the arrival, celebrating and preparing for the special event. Heather shares a beautiful story of anticipation and preparation of a special event with rhythmic text accompanied by Susan’s soft painted illustrations. A historical fiction both Heather and Susan depicting the era well.
What I liked: I love how the text reads with a kind of swagger, an outback feel. I loved one special illustration near the end, of the father leaning on the bed tickling the baby’s foot as both baby and mother are resting. Very cute! This would be a great story read aloud to kids, especially if there is a new baby brother or sister on the way. This story was written in relation to a saying, when in the Appalachian mountains of Kentucky, if a child asked where babies came from, the unique reply was always – babies are brought up the steep paths , tucked in saddlebags, carried by an angel on horseback. Which is no more true than – carried by stork or found in a cabbage patch.
Illustrations a beautifully done giving depth to a story of a young girl who hoped for a sister, the girl readily accepts her little brother, declaring, “Can’t help but love him just the same.”
Resources/Findings: There is an Author’s Note in the back along with original photos supplied by the Frontier Nursing Service who worked during that time.
Heather’s website and other books… http://heatherhensonbooks.com/?page_id=138
Here’s a lovely website with great ideas for preparing toddlers and older children for the arrival of a new baby…. http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/prepare-children
Pop over and visit the lovely author Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog and find the tab for Perfect Picture Books. Her blog is full of resources links and activities associated with the books reviewed by many authors.